We truly are not fulfilling our patriotic duty as a Canadian citizen if we have not experienced our country from coast to coast. In my younger years, I had the privilege of going to the west coast on a couple of family trips to visit Victoria. While completing store manager training with Aritzia, I was flown out to Vancouver to their Support Office. I have lived in Ottawa and visited Montreal a handful of times. What was lacking in my list of Canadian places to visit was somewhere in the Maritimes or out east.
JW and I both celebrate our birthdays in October (a day apart to be exact) and are ironically also both Libras and born in the years of the Ox. We decided to take a trip together, reconnecting after an 8 year hiatus in our friendship. Looking into flights through Porter (because there really is no other way to fly), we decided to visit a destination neither of us had been to. It was a toss up between Boston and Halifax. Taking into consideration the Canadian exchange rate, we decided to be smart with our money and stay on the Canadian side.
Three hours later, we landed in Halifax. On the descent of the flight, the view out of the window was stunning and serene. Think Atlantic Ocean, fall colours on the trees and rocky coastlines. Once I stepped off the plane, my lungs felt a big sigh of relief because the air fleet lighter and cleaner. My lingering cough that has plagued me for the past 3 weeks suddenly vanished. The natural beauty of Halifax will surely put a smile on everyone’s face,
Visiting the Citadel
The city of Halifax and the province of Nova Scotia are both rich in history. We visited the Citadel located at 5425 Sackville St,. It served the purpose since 1749 as a fort to protect the city. When we climbed the hill and got a closer look at the detail, it had a distinct moat around the compound. Being a top a hill, it would serve as the perfect lookout for the city. Much of the original craftsmanship remains in tact from the bolts on the iron doors to the courtyard shooting range.
Appreciating the Art
The boardwalk along the waterfront in Halifax is always hustling and bustling. Vendors selling Nova Scotia souvenirs and food stands offering various types of cuisine line the boardwalk.
Something that really caught my eye was the artistic display of light poles new Bishop’s Landing. Both during the day and at night, it serves as a cool interest piece.
In the past decade or so, street art has gained a lot of popularity. Halifax is not stranger to this either. They have an urban festival called Hopscotch which embraces this element. I especially liked the bold and vibrant colours of the 2 storey piece depicting the ever so appropriate sea life of the area.
People in Halifax are so warm and hospitable. Showing city and provincial pride, they were always willing to listen to short stories and anecdotes of our big metropolis life but made sure to fill us in on local hotspots and achievements.
Right across the street from our Airbnb apartment was the cutest and quaintest cafe called Two if by Sea. Serving delicious hot chocolate, BLT sandwiches and delectable cookies, we ate here every day if our stay.
Something that I had never experienced was being offered a blanket to wrap myself in as I dined. Granted, it was fairly chalky as we ate our dinner on the patio next to the pier. The staff at Bicycle Thief certainly know how to make their patrons feel right at home. The cozy throw gesture was equally matched by the delicious food and great service. I highly recommend eating their beef brisket burger.
Tips for Enjoying Halifax
- Eat lobster! In all fairness, I am not a huge seafood fan, but JW certainly enjoyed a couple of delicious, local lobster meals.
- use the Halifax Transit public ferry. It costs $2.50 one way (that is $.75 cheaper than using the TTC!). This mode of transportation is perfect if you want to take a quick trip over to the lovely town of Dartmouth.
- Bring a raincoat. We couldn’t exactly trust the weather, even on the day of our excursions and exploration. The wet weather caught up to us more than once.
- Rent a car. If we had more time, we would have certainly checked out a winery, coastline, or Peggy’s Cove.
Our trip was fun but a little short. We didn’t get the opportunity to do everything we wanted so it will mean another trip back out east. Rest assured Halifax, we will return!